# [Proj] Re: Mapping Africa in an equal area projection

Wed Dec 10 03:49:52 EST 2008

```Dear Daan,

yes, 20 km x 20 km would be the higher resolution, but I do not think we have
enough data to work at that resolution. Our data have all different
resolutions, we will need to aggregate them ....

Yes, the map is supposed to fit on the journal pages .... let's say maximum
A4.

PS: Is Lambert a good choice also for other continents? For another project I
have to choose a projection / ellipsoid / datum , equal area, that is good
for the whole world, with the smallest data cell at 10km x 10km. I would need
to draw continental maps as well as some country maps. Do you think it is
better to open a new thread altogether?

Best,

On Tuesday 09 December 2008 19:45:12 strebe wrote:
>
> My baser instincts here say not to even worry about the ellipsoid, given
> the data accuracy you're talking about. I'm not sure I understand quite
> what you mean by 20km x 20km, though. That is the most detailed data you
> will work with?
>
> What will be the scale of your map? Something that fits in the journal
> pages?
>
> Regards,
> — daan Strebe
>
>
> On Dec 9, 2008, at 1:24:17 AM, "Corrado Topi" <ct529 at york.ac.uk> wrote:
> From:   "Corrado Topi" <ct529 at york.ac.uk>
> Subject:    [Proj] Re: Mapping Africa in an equal area projection
> Date:   December 9, 2008 1:24:17 AM PST
> To: proj at lists.maptools.org
> Dear Daan,
>
> the results will be shown on maps of Africa as a whole. That is we will
> show maps of Africa, with different measurements and sample, but not of
> smaller or larger regions.
>
> We will use the maps in grass, and do some sample conversion using cs2cs /
> proj.
>
> The resolutions we will be working at are: 100 km x 100km initially, to
> explore the data, 50 km x 50 km or 20 km x 20 km later on, but only if our
> data are so good as to allow us to do so (we are not sure yet). The results
> will be shown on a Africa - wide map in any case, and not on sub regions.
>
> We will not use any larger or smaller scale maps.
>
> What do you think?
>
> Best,
>
> strebe at aol.com wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > You did not indicate if you will be making a single map of all of Africa,
> > or a series of much larger-scale maps. If it is a map of all of Africa,
> > then your choice of ellipsoid is not going to matter much, in which case
> > WGS84 is a good default because GPS data sources are already referred to
> > the WGS84 datum and because datum conversion parameters normally are
> > specified against WGS84.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Otherwise, use the ellipsoid and datum from which your source data are
> > culled unless you have some specific reason not to. If your data come
> > from many datums and ellipsoids, then again, it surely makes most sense
> > to use WGS84 as a standard.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > If you will be making a series of large-scale maps of (known) high
> > accuracy, then it makes more sense to standardize on a datum that fits
> > Africa better than WGS84. The Clarke 1880 ellipsoid dominates the extant
> > African datums, but I am not aware of any named datum that has been
> > formulated as a best fit for the entire African continent, though there
> > are mean solutions for large regions, such as ARC 1950.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > If your project is such a series of large-scale maps, by the way, I would
> > not use an equal-area projection if I were you. A conformal projection
> > will give more benefits on the ground and the areal inflation will be
> > negligible until you reach medium-scale.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > — daan Strebe
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Corrado Topi <ct529 at york.ac.uk>
> > To: proj at lists.maptools.org
> > Sent: Mon, 8 Dec 2008 2:50 am
> > Subject:=2
> > 0[Proj] Re: Mapping Africa in an equal area projection
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Thanks Daan!
> >
> > What ellipsoid / datum, would you choose? WGS84, ETRS89, or waht else?
> >
> > Regards
> >
> >
> > strebe at aol.com wrote:
> >
> >
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Of the candidates you list, I would call Mollweide inappropriate because
> >> it stretches Africa north-south to in order to reduce distortion
> >> elsewhere. It really is best left for world maps, where that compromise
> >> results in some benefit. Any of the others you list could be reasonable,
> >> depending on how they are constructed.
> >>
> >> Because Africa spans roughly
> >> the same latitudinal range north as south, an equatorial Lambert
> >> azimuthal equal-area is a fine choice, and will give you the lowest
> >> distortion of the group. Nor are there any better projections to
> >> recommend without going exotic. Sinusoidal is not a common modern
> >> choice, and I do not recommend it in this case because you will end up
> >> with higher distortion around the periphery than the other projections,
> >> and with no compensation.
> >>
> >> Unless your application would benefit from straight parallels and
> >> meridians, or unless your two standard parallels happen to be exactly
> >> latitudes of opposite sign, then Albers will always perform better than
> >> cylindric equal-area. But the advantages of Albers are largely lost on
> >> Africa unless you were willing to do something exotic like a heavily
> >> oblique aspect. Left with its standard parallels set to the graticule
> >> parallels, it would end up very
> >
> > similar to the cylindric equal-area
> >
> >> (because the two standard parallels would be nearly latitudes of
> >> opposite sign), and in that case it cannot approach Lambert for low
> >> distortion across your region of interest.
> >>
> >> Regards,
> >> — daan Strebe
> >
> >
> >
>
> --
>
> Global Climate Change & Biodiversity Indicators
> Department of Biology, University of York, UK
>
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